Results of reconstruction in major pelvic and extremity venous injuries

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Abstract

Purpose:

Outcome and venous patency after reconstruction in major pelvic and extremity venous injuries was studied.

Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed 46 patients with 47 venous injuries.

Results:

Injuries were caused by penetrating trauma in 37 extremities, blunt trauma in 6 patients, and were iatrogenic in 4 patients. Pelvic veins were injured in 4 patients, lower-extremity veins were injured in 39 limbs in 38 patients, and upper-extremity veins were injured in 4 patients. Concomitant arterial injuries occurred in 37 patients. Venous repairs were mostly of the complex type and included spiral or panel grafts in 15 (32%) reconstructions, interposition grafts or patch venoplasty in 19 (40%) reconstructions, end-to-end and lateral repair in 11 patients, and ligation in 2 patients. Two patients underwent early amputation. Early transient limb edema occurred in 2 patients, and postoperative venous occlusions were documented in 4 patients. Full function was regained in 39 (81%) extremities. No variable, including 4 retrospectively applied extremity injury scores (mangled extremity severity score [MESS], limb salvage index [LSI], mangled extremity syndrome index [MESI], predictive salvage index [PSI]), correlated with outcome. High values on all 4 scores were significantly associated with reexplorations (P < .02), which were done in 8 patients for debridement (5), arrest of bleeding (2), and repair of a missed arterial injury (1). Follow-up of 28 ± 6 months on 27 patients (57%; duplex scan in 18, continuous-wave Doppler and plethysmography in 9, and venography in 3) showed 1 occlusion 6 weeks after the injury and patency of all other venous reconstructions.

Conclusion:

Reconstructions of major venous injuries with a high rate of complex repairs result in a large proportion of fully functional limbs and a high patency rate. A high extremity injury score predicts the need for reexploration of the extremity. Most occlusions occur within weeks of injury, and the subsequent delayed occlusion rate is very low.

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